Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

April 25, 2017 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold. John and I had a lot to catch up on. More to come tomorrow.


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  • LocalFluff

    Your fire is spreading, Bob. Ted Cruz wants to renegotiate the Outer Space Treaty:

    China and Russia should get along with the US on a new treaty that gives the first lander generous property rights. Giving them return on their current space leadership.

  • LocalFluff: As I wrote in a different thread tonight, “I saw this story tonight. I haven’t posted a link yet because I need to watch the entire hearings first, and then plan to write a longer post about it. It does appear that my Federalist column struck a nerve. Or more likely I sensed the wave coming from many different places, and caught it at just the right time.”

  • PeterF

    Thank goodness the incredibly long gap in podcasts is finally over!

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.,
    I’ve only recently started to seriously ponder such topics as homesteading & legal frameworks for Space. (and to your credit, for raising them)

    Personally, a big fan of Austrian-bent economics (and early American colonial history) & have been digging at the Mises dot org site, which immediately branched backwards to the “Lockean Homesteading Proviso,” from his Labor Theory of Property.

    in brief–
    “The phrase “Lockean proviso” was coined by libertarian political philosopher Robert Nozick in Anarchy, State, and Utopia. It is based on the ideas elaborated by John Locke in his Second Treatise of Government—that self-ownership allows a person the freedom to mix his or her labor with natural resources, thus converting common property into private property. Locke concludes that people need to be able to protect the resources they are using to live on, their property, and that this is a natural right. Nozick used this idea to form his Lockean proviso which governs the initial acquisition of property in a society. But in order for his ideas of ownership of property to get off the ground and be cogent, he devised the criterion to determine what makes property acquisition just, which is the proviso. The proviso says that though every appropriation of property is a diminution of another’s rights to it, it is acceptable as long as it does not make anyone worse off than they would have been without any private property.”

    –Which is apparently hotly debated among the more anarcho-capitalistic views of a Murray Rothbard or a Walter Block.

    This is highly (highly) interesting & frames some of important aspects of the debate, and actually mentions Space.

    Personally, I haven’t thought about all this to any great depth so as to reach any firm conclusions, but my default stance is absolutely on your side of the fence.
    For these topics especially, I believe it’s vital to learn from our past mistakes & successes and apply those going forward, with as little distorting influences as we can engineer. (cronyism & Statism being the biggies.)

    And, I also like one of your key points in the colonization/exploration of Space– there’s no “indigenous populations” at risk of exploitation.

  • Wayne: It is interesting to me that both I (in my Federalist op-ed) and Bigelow (in his testimony) expressed positions agreeing with the Lockean Homesteading Proviso. Homesteading is only good if the property claimed does not claim so much that there is nothing left for anyone else. I made this point by noting that we must structure claims so that they are not too large, or else we will make it impractical for others. Bigelow said a similar thing, while also noting that the Outer Space Treaty presently puts no limit on any colony base size placed on any planet, and that he fears China will use this to claim far more than we would want.

  • Orion314

    40 acres and a mule sounds like a good staring point ;)

  • wayne

    Extremely interesting Topic on a variety of levels.

    I was not aware of this “Lockean Proviso,” so it all goes on my List of Stuff for further exploration.

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